Dark Chocolate Madeleines

Dark Chocolate Madeleines | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Over the course of the next month I am going to be preparing recipes from Carole Bloom’s latest baking tome The Essential Baker, which came out last year. Kim Ode from the Star Tribune hosts a wonderful cookbook review at the Barnes and Noble in Edina called Edesia (it means the Roman Goddess of Food). On May 19th I’ll be one of the “guest experts” and will give my opinion, along with some sample goodies of the recipes I’ve tested. Along the way I thought I would share some of my findings with you. Read More

Citrus Fruit Pâtes (French Fruit Jellies)

Citrus Fruit Pâtes | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Last week Graham and I went to dinner at Cosmos restaurant in Minneapolis where my friend Khanh Tran is the pastry chef. She is a brilliantly talented woman and all of the desserts were breathtaking. I am not generally this liberal with my praise of sweets. I’m often disappointed and rarely quiet about it. Khanh has managed to balance the art of beautiful presentation with deep and true flavors. The last thing we ate that night was a plate of mignardises (small bite sized desserts) and on the platter were two of my all time favorites: French macaroons and citrus fruit pâtes. Read More

Vanilla Pastry Cream

Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Pastry cream is one of the most versatile recipes in a professional pastry kitchen (and your home). It is used for the filling of eclairs, napoleons, fruit tarts, banana cream pie, trifle, and just scooped out of the bowl with a spoon. It is essentially “kick-ass” vanilla pudding, to quote one of my former bosses. It can be scented with vanilla, in fact I always start with vanilla pastry cream and then add flavors to it. I’ve made everything from Thai chili-chocolate to passion fruit pastry cream. Here is the basic vanilla pastry cream recipe to start with!

This is an old post with old photos (I’ve come a long way with my camera since then)…

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